Kyrgyzstan’s Referendum: A Vote for Continuity and Tradition
Kyrgyzstan’s voters will head again to the polling stations this weekend for a constitutional referendum intended to rebalance powers between the president and the prime minister, as well as enshrine several conservative norms aimed at pacifying the country’s traditionalists.
The December 11 referendum is being pushed through in the teeth of resistance from opposition parties and nongovernmental groups, earning them contempt from President Almazbek Atambayev.
The main amendments concerning the running of the country will bolster the role of the prime minister, who will be able to hire and fire ministers and local government leaders. Proponents of the amendments say the increased authority of the prime minister will ensure continuity and put an end to the regular turnover of heads of government that has been the trademark of Kyrgyzstan’s politics.
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